Amid the terrible results for President Biden in the poll that was released earlier this week by the New York Times and Siena College — the one that had Biden losing to former President Donald Trump in most major swing states — was a bit of a surprise: It turns out the president is running behind the vice president in some states.
According to Newsweek, which cited the Times poll, Harris is doing better against Trump in three swing states — Georgia, Michigan, and Nevada — than Biden does. This goes against numerous assumptions, often shared by opponents of the vice president, that she is the worst presidential candidate imaginable.
“When voters were asked who they would choose for president if the options were between Harris and Trump, 47 percent in Michigan said Trump and 45 percent said Harris. Meanwhile, in a matchup between Biden and Trump, 48 percent of voters in Michigan chose the former president and 43 percent chose Biden,” Newsweek said of the NYT/Siena College poll results.
“In Georgia, Trump received 45 percent of the vote while the vice president nabbed 44 percent. However when Trump is up against Biden, he received 49 percent of the vote compared to Biden’s 43 percent,” the report added. “Approximately 48 percent of voters in Nevada picked Trump over Harris, while Harris received 42 percent of voter support. However, when Biden is on the ballot with Trump, the former president has an 11-point lead, 52 to 41 percent.”
Both do much worse against Trump than does a “Generic Democrat,” but that’s not an actual person, and any candidate the party could put up would have positives and negatives.
There are quite a few caveats that apply here. This is one poll, and it was taken a year before Election Day. The differences between the performance of Biden and Harris, in that one poll, aren’t exactly major, and that 11-point lead by Trump in Nevada, a state Trump lost in both 2016 and 2020, and which usually has presidential contests that are much closer than that, some consider fishy.
Election forecaster Nate Silver, on his Substack site, wrote this week about that and other recent polls. He noted that until now, he had never seen a poll favoring Harris over Biden during the current cycle.
“Although you can speculate on why Biden’s numbers are so mediocre with younger Americans, one explanation is staring us in the face, which is that 78 percent of under-30 voters in the poll say Biden is ‘just too old to be an effective president’ (48 percent say the same of Trump),” Silver wrote. “And of course, voter concern about Biden’s is a pattern that has manifested itself across a lot of polls. It’s not an issue that will go away; Biden is 80 and will turn 81 later this month. He’s a big historical outlier; Biden was older at the start of his term than any prior president had been at the end of their presidency.”
With the general election day a year away, the Biden-Harris campaign sent out a campaign email Monday which stated that they described the “campaign’s winning strategy [and] stakes.”
“This election is a choice. It’s a choice between President Biden and whoever the Republican Party decides to put forward. It’s a choice and a contrast that we’re drawing to make sure that voters know President Biden is working to cap the cost of insulin, to lower costs for middle-class families – in stark contrast with the Republican Party who want to provide tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations,” deputy campaign manager Quentin Fulks said in the release.
“This is a choice and we need to make that clear to voters so we’re excited to do all we can from the very beginning, very early in this campaign, and have consistent communication with voters across the country to do just that.”
Author Expertise and Experience:
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @StephenSilver, and subscribe to his Substack newsletter.